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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Missoula or Bust!

Hello Everyone!  I hope all is going well with you all.  It's been a slow and quiet week here.  I'm just plugging away at my physical therapy appointments for my back.  On Tuesday, he added back two exercises and I just got home from my appointment this morning.  He's very happy with my progress but still no lifting more than 2 lbs. or vacuuming, etc.  I can walk two laps around the mall and that's it.  Still, it's better than I was doing before and the pain has given way to just being uncomfortable so that's progress!  He's happy for me to sit and knit after I get my exercising done so the muscles can relax and mend.  I really like going to my appointments because of the treatments they do to it.  It feels so good on my back muscles.

You may recognize this picture of this sweater.  Well, I made another one this week...
...only in this lavender color.  I forgot to take a picture and I've already taken it to the Crisis Nursery.  It's a size 4/5 so will be good for a pre-school age child.  They get donations for the babies, but not so much for the older children.  I need to find a nice boys sweater pattern and make some of those.
In other news, I snapped this photo the other day when I went to walk at the mall.  This is how high the snow piles, dirty as they may be, are around town.  As high as the two story mall.
Here's a cleaner side.  Look, almost as high as the street lights.  It was still there this morning when I drove by.  Winter, go away.
Obviously, some snow is melting because we've been in a flood warning for several weeks now.  This is the river fairly close to us.  Our first house here in Spokane is just about 1/2 a block from where I took these pictures.
Do you see the ducks in the bottom picture?  So much water.
Mandy, Brad and Piper went into D.C. last weekend to look at the Cherry Blossoms.  I love this photo.  I think it was at the Jefferson Memorial but I could be wrong.  Piper just loves her Daddy.
My girls.  Oh my heart breaks from not getting to see them in person for so long.  Maybe soon though as they're in the process of getting ready to move once again.  Still not here in Spokane, but a bit closer.
Piper got the two Octopi that I sent her.  Did I spell that right?  It was a good day for her to get the package because she wasn't feeling well at all that day.  She was SO happy! Which made Grandma happy of course. :-)
And I started this yesterday.
Hopefully it will become this when it's done.  And guess what?  It's for  me!  I don't make things for myself very often, but I've been wanting a cardigan for the lake that has pockets for my phone and a Kleenex or two when I take walks.  The pattern is a bit confusing but maybe I'll be able to figure it out.
Are you wondering about my post title?  Missoula or Bust!   We're driving to Missoula tomorrow to see Jamie, Kyleigh and Caleb.  We've reserved a hotel room and are eagerly awaiting our trip to see our babies. We'll be home on Sunday and have a good friend staying here at the house with Chloe.  I sure wish all of the kids were here, but I'll take what I can get.  I haven't gone anywhere for so long, I've forgotten how to pack a suitcase.  Believe me, if I could I would be packing one to go to D.C.  I miss my girls and really need a Piper hug.

There is absolutely nothing else remarkable happening here.  It's been raining, raining, raining here so I spend a lot of time inside.  No flowers are coming up.  Nothing.  It's spring on the  calendar, but still resembles winter outside. I know it's coming though and I'm trying to be patient.

Have a lovely week my friends.  I'm going to go hug three of my babies, (even though one is a grown man, he's still one of my babies!)  Am I right, all of you Mom's out there?  It doesn't matter how old they get, they're still our babies and we love them.

"Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."  John 6:35

Blessings always,
Betsy







Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Has Sprung!

Happy Wednesday my friends.  My Mom used to have a saying, "Spring has sprung, the grass is rise, I wonder where all the birdies is?"  I'm sure she's not the only one who said that, but I'm repeating it this spring too.  Very few birdies are coming to visit us yet.  Do they know something we don't?  Possibly more snow?  I sure hope not.  It is a bit warmer and not so cold at night.  It's staying in the upper 20's and 30's at night which is warm compared to a month ago!  I even saw a crocus coming up when I walked around the block yesterday.  Happiness!

I've been busy crocheting this week.  I started out making 77 squares.
And finished this full/twin sized blanket a few days ago.  I still have to wash and block it so pardon the wrinkles.
Here is a closer look at the squares.  This blanket will be for Neal who is Dennis' best friend.  He and his wife Jenny are family to us and although I make things for Jenny quite often, Neal has never gotten anything.  I thought this would be great for napping under during these chilly evenings we're still having.
Another preemie baby blanket from the ICE yarn flew off of my hook...
along with a "Corner to Corner" newborn sized blanket.  These will both go to the hospital nursery.
A few more pair of mittens and baby hats were finished for the elementary kids and the hospital nursery.
More squares are now being put together.  Three toddler sized blankets...
and three more!  These six blankets will go to the Crisis Nursery here in Spokane.
I still have to finished joining squares on two of them and then crochet a border.  Then they will all be washed with Neal's blanket, hopefully this evening and delivered on Friday if all goes well.

We had Miss Sophie visiting for the past week while her Mom & Dad were in Desert Hot Springs visiting relatives.  Sorry this is a bit dark, I took in while I was laying in bed.  She is such a snuggler.
I was going to make octopus' for a charity that provides them to hospitals for preemies.  Apparently the tentacles remind them of the umbilical cord and they can often be found gripping them like they did in the womb.  Unfortuntely, I can't seem to crochet tight enough for their guidelines without hurting my hands terribly.  Piper loves them though.  I had made the first one, (the green one,) and she requested a wife for him in pink.  Meet Swimmer and Dusty, Mr. & Mrs. Octopus.  I mailed them off to her yesterday after PT and she's eagerly awaiting their arrival.
Gracie sent me this lovely card and coaster.  The card was perfect and the coaster is made with the softest, silkiest yarn.  Sorry it's sideways, blogger keeps flipping it around on me for some reason.
Sunday after church Dennis and I took a drive to the lake.  Look at that!  It's still completely frozen over!  Will summer never arrive?  Two years ago we were camping on the same weekend in March and we all got sunburned!  What a difference!
Here is the road up to our trailer.  Still snowed in.  I did manage to hike up there anyway.  We spent an hour or so checking things out at the trailer since we haven't been there since last fall.  All seems well.  Maybe in another month or so we can head up there to spend the night????
I go to PT on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it really wears me out.  Yesterday he added back a couple of exercises and told me to expect to be uncomfortable. Yep.  I'm uncomfortable.  I just got home from walking 1.5 miles at the mall.  I try to do that everyday now.  It may not sound like much, but it seems like Mt. Everest to me!  I AM getting better.  I can tell.  It just seems to be way to slow for me.  I have things to do!  Grandchildren to visit!  Alex to visit! 

I heard about the latest terrorist attack in London as I was driving home just now.  My thoughts and prayers are with the people of England and the families of those hurt and killed in this senseless act of violence. It is happening too often and I long for the day when things like this no longer happen.  My fear is that it will just get worse as we turn away from what is right and follow the senseless rhetoric and hate being tossed around by so many. 

I try to keep my blog a place of peace and happiness.  Sharing my life with my friends.  May you all be blessed and safe today and always.  Kiss your family and hold them close, for we never know what the next moment will bring.

"I keep my eyes always on the LORD.  With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:8

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, March 13, 2017

No Snow To Report!

Hello and happy Monday morning to you all!  Can you believe it?  Now, when the east coast is finally starting to see some of the winter we've had since November, we finally have no accumulating snow this past week!  Now, mind you, it DID snow here.  But it didn't stick to the ground and it's actually been in the 40's for the first time since November, so what we had on the ground is melting quickly.  It was even 53 on Saturday!  Oh my goodness! Hubby and I went and looked at campers just to get out of the house. People were outside in shorts and no jackets and working around the snow left in their yards.  We are all so excited to have warmth that it feels like a balmy summer day when it's 50F!  However, all of that snow laying on the grass for so long has left what is called "snow mold" and the yards look pretty yucky right now.  No pictures as it's ugly!  :-)  I'm happy though.  No snow!!!

Here is my only nod to St. Patrick's Day.  Not much but a little green.
I made these cute crochet shamrocks a couple of years ago.
Becky, who is "Grandma Becky" on my sidebar sent me this sweet little package as a combination Happy Birthday and Get Well package.  Wasn't that sweet?  I use those crochet scrubbies all of the time and love them.  The dishcloth is beautifully made and I love the sweet little bracelet.  Thank you Becky!
A pair of shortie socks virtually flew off of my needles.  This is Knit Picks speckle sock yarn and the "Hermione Everyday" sock pattern.
Ten new baby hats for the hospital.  I did make a couple of pairs of mittens, but forgot to photograph them.  These are so fast and only take an hour or so.  I apologize for these photos.  It's very rainy and cloudy today so I had to have the lights on and it created a glare in the pictures.
Another baby gumdrop blanket for the Crisis Nursery.
Remember the white blanket I had started last post?  I didn't like it at all, so it was ripped out and I started again with this ICE yarn.  It was given to me a few years ago from a sweet lady at church's stash when she moved into a nursing home.  This yarn is working SO much better for this pattern.  The other one was a worsted weight yarn and much to thick for a blanket.  It was very, very stiff.  This is a cross between baby yarn and DK yarn and much softer.  I love the colors for a little girl too.  I'm making this a bit small for the hospital and will be perfect for a preemie.
Look at those stitches.  Such an easy pattern too.  Chain one, single crochet.  Over and over again.  Do you like my hook?  A few years ago I took some extra hooks laying around and used polymer clay to make them.  You can buy them online but they're pretty pricy.  These fit my hands perfectly and were so cheap.  I think I made handles for 6 hooks for about $2.00!  Not bad.  They're much easier on my hands than when they were just plain skinny hooks.
This was our camper on Saturday.  Friends went up to check on things and sent us this picture.  Now, this is only 25 miles from our house but look at the snow that's still there, and that's the lake behind it. Still frozen over.  The elevation is that much higher than at our house that there is still lots of snow.  The past two years, we were already spending weekends at the trailer by mid-March.  Obviously not this year.  It's definitely been one for the record books.
This is how I would prefer to think of the lake.  I took this last summer.  Nice!  We're hoping to be there by next month if it finally is done with winter here. :-)
My physical therapy is going well.  He wasn't happy with the progress last Tuesday so he lowered my activity level once again and that has seemed to help the pain significantly.  I'm going to the mall to walk most days and am much more active now.  I still can't lift over 2 lbs.  That's 2 bottles of water!  I went to the grocery store after my physical therapy last Thursday.  I had to put 2 cans of soup, or one block of cheese in each bag.  When I got home I had to carry them into the house one by one.  Such a pain.  I think I had about 30 bags!  Next time I'll just go with Dennis so he can carry them in!

Since I'm out walking more, it's cutting into my crafting time so I don't have as much to show you.  It is frustrating to me, because I want to clean and declutter this house.  My goal was to start getting rid of LOTS of stuff this winter in preparation for retirement.  I haven't decluttered one closet.  Oh, well.  I still have a couple of years to work on things.

And now I'm off to drive to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to drop some papers off to our financial guy.  My first "big" car trip by myself.  It's a whole 30 miles away do you think I can do it?

Have a lovely week my friends.  I hope it's sunshiny wherever you may be.

"Be joyful in hope, patients in affliction, faithful in prayer."  Romasn 12:12

Blessings,
Betsy











Friday, March 3, 2017

Sunshine?

Hello again my friends.  It's Friday and although the sun was out for an hour or two, it's cloudy and a rain/snow mix is predicted this evening and tonight.  It has been a bit nicer this week with some snow melt happening, although there is still at least 2 feet of snow in our front yard!

I've gone to physical therapy twice this week.  Tuesday, the therapist told me to go to the mall and walk one side only after I finished at their office.  Thursday he told me I could walk the entire downstairs circle.  This morning I went and walked the downstairs and upstairs circle. (Don't tell the therapist though.  I think I was just supposed to do downstairs until he sees me again.)  I can't believe how good it felt to get out and walk and how exhausted I am and how much I hurt after just that little bit.  I have to go to the mall because he doesn't want me walking outside because of all of the snow and ice.  Apparently the bone won't be fully healed for another 6-7 weeks so I can't risk another fall.

This is how empty the mall is before the stores open.  I'm not a shopper, so I like to go early before lots of people get there.  At 8 or 9 a.m., there are only us walkers there.  I'm a bit embarrassed when people 20-30 years older than I am go zipping by me.  There are some people who go everyday and walk several miles.  I would much rather be outside walking at the lake!
I finished Miss Pipers doll blanket.  It's about 36 inches square and she told me this morning that she loves it.  There are several rows of sparkly yarn that she really likes.  She told me that her baby doll Gracie will really like being wrapped in it for her naps. :-)
I started a child's sweater earlier this week.  Here are the sleeves in progress. I've finally wised up in knitting sleeves.  I do both at the same time on a circular needle so all increases and decreases are done on the exact same row at the other sleeve.  This eliminates oddly miss-matched sleeves in case you're off a row or two.  It only took me years to figure this trick out! Ha!
And here it is completed. The bottom picture is more true color-wise. I just have to sew on the buttons.  I'm not sure where this sweater will end up...possibly the Children's Shelter. 
A close up of the eyelets.  The back is eyelet too.
Three baby hats finished for the hospital.
Two pairs of mittens and one mitten about 1/2 finished.
I started this baby blanket yesterday but decided I didn't like it so about an hour ago I ripped the whole thing out.  It's back into a ball of yarn waiting to decide what to be next.  That's my sweet project bag from Kris.  Love those vintage campers!
Here was the beautiful skyline with Mt. Spokane covered with snow and clouds.  I took this from the back deck.  Look at that blue sky.  We haven't seen that much this winter.
Sorry this is a bit blurry, but it's basically the same view that evening at sunset.  That pink is gorgeous.
Life has been very slow here. I did get my hair cut yesterday.  It had been almost a year since it was even trimmed.  I detest messing with my hair.  She cut it MUCH shorter than I thought she was going to.  It was over halfway to my waist and now it's above my shoulders.  I had lots of split ends that had to be cut off.  **sigh**  I know I'll get used to it, but it's a really, really drastic change for me. 

Piper almost cried when she saw it this morning on FaceTime.  She loved playing with my hair and we would braid our hair together on some days.  Oh well, it is what it is, and it's only hair.

And now I'm off to sit in my chair for awhile.  It's been a busy day so far.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and it is nice and warm wherever you may be.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy spirit." Romans 15:13

Blessings,
Betsy